Rick lived life to the fullest and on his own terms. He is survived by his wife Irene, his mother Florence, his children Laura McLean (Mark Sanders), James McLean, Michael McLean, and his grandchildren Jameson Bolton, Asia McLean, Rebecca and Declan Sanders, a brother Gordon (Irene) McLean and several cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Rick was born in Gull Lake, Saskatchewan and grew up on a farm there. In 1967 he graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College. Also in 1967 he married the love of his life, Irene (Vantol). Th ey ran a mixed practice in Oxbow, Saskatchewan from 1967 until 1977. Never content with one job, Rick also raised catt le and grainfarmed. Aft er 1977 he worked for the Food Inspection Agency, Agriculture Canada, fi rst in the Maritimes, and then in Regina. But he never relinquished his farm. When he retired from the government in 1995 he returned to private practice and farming. In 2003 he and Irene truly retired and moved to Vancouver Island, eventually sett ling in Ladysmith. As he did in all aspects of his life, Rick embraced the move to the West Coast: he bought a boat, took the Power Squadron course, and took to the open water with his fi shing buddies – a West Coast cowboy.
Rick died at home, surrounded by his family, aft er a brief courageous batt le with cancer. No one is prepared for the loss of a person who lived life the way Rick did. Th e galloping malignancy that took him will not be our memory of him. Rick was full of joy and humour and taught us to fi nd those qualities in one another. No one could tell a story like Rick did. When she lost him in a crowd, Irene could oft en locate him by following the sound of laughter. He never took himself seriously and he kept us laughing at him and with him until the very end. He was an intelligent man, kind, humble, modest, and unfailingly energetic and curious. Rick was interested in everything. He was a horseman and a hunter all his life and aft er retirement he took up investing with a passion. He and Irene travelled the world together and they roamed North America in their trailer. God must need him in heaven to provide laughter, or perhaps to fi ll His freezer with elk for an upcoming feast.
Rick’s family would like to thank all those who cared for him from the time he fell ill. A funeral service will be held on Wednesday, March 17 at 10:30 A.M. at the Ladysmith First United Church, followed by interment in the Cedar Valley Memorial Gardens. Th e Rick McLean Fan Club will assemble this summer for a celebration of his life and to continue the story-telling. In lieu of fl owers the family would be grateful for donations to the Canadian Cancer Society, or to the charity of your choice.